Oct 20, 2012 7:00pm EDT
>> "bbc news night." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> the far right is on the march in greece. the leader of an extremist party tells newsnight about their rise in support among the guardians of the state. >> i think with what they are saying now, we have more than 60% at of them following us. >> she is the daughter of a former president. could she also be the daughter of a future one? we asked chelsea clinton it if her mother should to case shot at the top job. >> i hope that she will stay off an airplane for a while, and then i know that she will make whatever choice is for her. >> with the world's growing population demand for food has never been higher. it is the time of -- is the time of the cheap food over? hello. when extremists are on the rise in any society, it is the police who are meant to enforce the laws and keep order, but in greece today, there is evidence exactly the opposite may be happening. a pattern is emerging where supporters of the far right golden door party which won it 18 seats in the june election has violently targeted the left, gay people, and the police stand by. from athens, paul mason has been examining the charge sheet against that pillar of the greek state. >> in a small greek theater, they are lost. among the actors inside, rising panic. the manager is speaking frankly to the athens chief of police. outside, supporters of the far right party throw bricks and punches. the performance of a play called "corpus christi" goes ahead symbolically to just 20 people. even days later, the director of the play is stunned by what happened. >> what happened that night, it was like a critical mass. many people, they have called my mother, they said to her that we are going to cut down your son and pieces and bring you a box. your son will be in that box. so it is not a performance anymore. it days, do we have a democracy in this country or do we have a dictatorship and nobody is telling us? if we have a dictatorship, then europe must do something. >> this is the man who led to shut down at the theater, the defacto commander of the attack squads. the policemen may come here to buy these? >> yes. >> the shop that he owns sells the paraphernalia of civil conflict, and civil conflict is what he intends. >> even though nobody likes this, greek society is ready to fight a new type of civil war. on one side, there will be let's say nationalists like us and the greeks who want our country to be as it used to be, and on the other side will be illegal immigrants and all of those who have destroyed athens. >> with his party's surging to 12% in opinion polls, one of 18 golden dorm and p's makes no apologies for his attempts to control the streets. are you at war with immigrants? >> we are at war with the political system and people who represent it. we are at war with domestic and international bankers. we are at war with all of these illegal invaders, yes. we call them invaders. they have invaded our country, and the state is doing absolutely nothing. they're just waving a white flag. so we are against everyone. >> the greek police seem powerless to stop the group. they're engaged in a roundup of the legal immigrants and in scenes like this are now common. but those attacked by the group claimed the police fail to help them. critics say there is a reason, and the group is frank about it. >> i think with what they are saying now, we have more than 50%, 60% of the police who are following us, maybe more. every day, it is growing. >> at nightfall in central athens, plain clothes to police arrest those migrants without papers. some 4000 have been placed in detention camps this way. the government is trying to counteract the rise of the far right and showed the state can do the job. the greek prime minister recently compared his country to germany on the eve of hitler's takeover. behind me, plain clothes police are arresting migrants, and the police in athens seem incapable of not doing anything about the violence and intimidation of the group. many in mainstream politics of fear. -- feel powerless to influence the situation. the rapidity of changes obvious. just two weeks ago, this was famous for a place for migrants to hang out. today, the children play on a giant piece of graffiti. >> when you were the daughter of a former president of the u.s. and your mother is secretary of state for president obama, there is inevitable pressure to follow in the family business. chelsea clinton is navigating her way into a career and possibly a political future quite candidly, putting her own stamp on a new initiative and africa. she has been in the capital of nigeria, and my colleague spoke to her earlier this week from there. >> can you give me some details about the initiative that you are launching? >> i am here as part of the initiative work with the ministry of health in nigeria. it is actually the government of nigeria today, led by president good luck jonathan, it launched a save 1 million lives initiatives, whereby nigeria aims to save 1 million mother and child lives by 2015. currently, there are about a million preventable maternal and child deaths every year in nigeria. the vast majority of them are children who perished from diarrhea, malaria, h.i.v.-aids, so we are working with the ministry of health on scaling up the world health organization recommendations to treat diarrhea diseases, and we believe we can cover the country and we can save 100,000 lives per year. >> as an american woman going to nigeria to launch this initiative, and a sense you are allowing nigeria to abdicate its responsibility. >> oh, not at all. this is being driven and implemented primarily by an algerian ministry of health, in conjunction with -- by the nigerian ministry of health, in conjunction with local partners in nigeria. >> the clinton health access, particularly in it africa, but what is happening with afghanistan and iraq with women. >> speaking about africa, you have to think about nigeria. one in four people who live in africa live in nigeria. 12% of the children who die from diarrhea, which nobody should die from the 21st century, died in nigeria. for me, so much of that is about women's rights. i think fundamentally, women should be empowered to make the right decisions for themselves and their families and to have the resources they need to be able to be healthy mothers and have healthy children, and that should be true everywhere in the world. >> i wonder what you make of the efforts of the taliban and afghanistan, trying to make women stay in their home. how much concern do you have with that? >> the effort to stop women or girls anywhere is reprehensible, whether it is efforts in the united states or efforts anywhere on any continent. certainly, i think what is happening in parts of south asia is deeply, deeply troubling. we saw last week in pakistan what happened when a 14-year-old girl was singled out on a bus and shot for standing up for girls' education. i know that she is now in the u.k. receiving the care that she needs to regain her health and go back to hurt important work. certainly, it is critical that those of us who believe only when we live in a world where every person can participate to their full potential is the world we want to see. >> you have definitely found your voice, and you have said that you want to have a public life. is that taking office? >> i don't know. to take office, how have to be elected in the united states. before my mom's campaign in 2008, i would have said no, not as a result of any long, deliberate, thoughtful process, but because of being asked questions for as long as i can remember. >> has america lost a dynasty? >> i don't know about that. i feel a strong call for public service. that is why i am here today. i think are many ways to serve. i believe my mother's life is a testament to that. my father calls her an ngo woman of one, of her life, until she ran for the senate. so watching my mother and watching the many women like her who have advocated in civil society and outside government, i do believe in many ways i could be a public servant. i don't know what the right answer will be formed a long term, but now i'm trying to do the work wherever i can. >> i know you said your mother is vehement after leaving office after president obama's term. i wonder what you think about her heading towards the white house herself. >> i want her to do whatever she wants to do. i am so proud of my mom and everything she does. somebody came out earlier and said i love your parents, and i never tire of hearing it because my parents every day give me reasons to be proud of the work they do when the world. for my mom, as her daughter, i hope that she will get some well earned rest and get staying off an airplane for a while, and and she will make whatever choice is for her in the future and that will ultimately be the right choice for our family and for us. >> food is one of the great universal human necessities, but right now global food supply is under pressure and several factors are increasing the strain. major weather problems, the switch to growing biofuel, and general wastefulness. add and ever increasing world population and the pressure could become overwhelming. here is our science editor. >> the modern supermarket is the epitome of plenty. shelves are permanently stock. the only lines are at the checkout. but this precarious system now faces serious pressure points. over the past few decades, we have all gotten used to the idea that we deserve cheap, abundant food whenever we want it, but for how much longer can that constant model survive? is the era of cheap food finally coming to an end? lincoln, nebraska. corn is kaine. the heart of north america, where the state and the football team are known as the cornhuskers. but the corn belt is at the center of a crippling drought. >> this is the worst drought in 50 years and we do not see any end to it. the special area that is being consumed by drought right now and the u.s. is over 65% of the lower 48 states right now. >> ron farms soybeans and corn. like the 1930's, he has faced record temperatures with almost no rain fall. >> we have only had a couple of inches this growing season. >> you have been pretty much raising these crops on one rainfall. >> yes. the soybean yields are down by two-thirds, the corn yields are down by about one-third. >> and there has been drought in russia, kazakhstan, and india as well. and 40% of america's corn crops is diverted to create biofuels. finding an alternative to gasoline has put even more pressure on supply. all of that means rising prices. >> looking at soybean oil, looking at high fructose corn syrup from the corn crops, and look at how many products those are being used in. as that market stay high, that will impact numerous products that we use on a day-to-day basis. >> with the price of feed going up, they have had to slaughter early. 10% of his herd is gone. his parents, his grandparents, and great grandparents farm this land. now his children want to follow in his footsteps, but his dad can remember when the rain failed in the 1930's, when the land became a dust bowl. >> at one time, it got so dark at noon from the dust that my folks lit the lamp so we could see to eat dinner. >> farmers are used to hardship. we can roll with the punches. we will survive this just like anything else. the first page is the older cows go first, or if they are bigger those of the ones who go now. >> the man is the other pressure point on prices. cattle grow on a mixture of pasture and liquid supplement, but cattle raised on grain need 7 kilograms to create just 1 kilogram of meat, and global demand is rising as people get richer, so demand for grain will rise. on top of that, the planet's population has grown by 17 million. football matters here. the cornhuskers have sold out every home game since 1962. back then, droughts were a once in a generation of the event. now scientists warn the long- term rise in temperatures could make drops like this summer's more frequent, even in areas where the rainfall has been normal. >> in a changing climate, we need to be more prepared for droughts that are more frequent and intense. but the main thing we have seen over the past several decades is this temperature component. we have seen that on the upswing. >> nebraska has had a difficult summer. their fans could deal with a break. so what is in play? agronomists are confident that we can still step up supply, with better use of water and soil. and could we run with the high- tech approach, genetically modified crops that perhaps could better resist the route? we wanted to ask the man who directs nebraska passed agricultural policy. we found him pitch-side. >> in nebraska, the science and technology that we have applied to our crops are helping us produce more. our crops are able to use the water and nutrients more efficiently, and we think as we look forward we will be able to identify genes within those crops that will resist drought and produce even more bushels under extreme drought conditions like we experienced in a brass bed this year -- like we experienced in nebraska this year. >> the huskers need a comeback. with 10 minutes to go, they are down 10-27. time is ticking away. can supply shortages be tackled with crop science? do we use the corn fields to grow more food or cleaner fuel? or do we wrestle with the trick here problem of demand? if we are to support more and more people, we may each have to consume less and be less wasteful. 40% of food in the united states is never eaten, simply thrown away. the security of our food system is threatened by restrictions on supply and ever-increasing demand. just one not in the system could send prices rocketing. but how do we increase supply and demand and that will require tough decisions. it was a hard night for nebraska, but they fought back, winning 30-27. 85,000 people went home happy. but it promises to be a tough all time. artists are down, and unless there is significant -- harvests are down, and unless there is significant rainfall in snow over the winter, the spring will be even tougher. >> earlier this week, my colleague spoke with the shaft and author, a plant biologist, and an author, anti-waste campaigner and self-styled scavenger about whether we are really at the end of the era of cheap food. >> we are apparently needing 50% more food by 2050. how terrifying is that? >> it is a terrifying figure, and it seems we're also changing our diets. people not on the more but they eat more meat. obviously that is way more wasteful. we heard in the film how many kilograms of vegetables you need to feed at cal. this changing diet of habits all of the world, in china and india also, and also the fact we waste so much because there is so much thrown away. we just need to look outside the supermarket or restaurant and there is piles of food that goes to waste, good food. >> kathrin, uri scavenger. when did you last scavenge? >> the other day, i went to a bakery and i found several bags packed with loaves of bread. you have your choice of whole grain, white. i picked up some mozzarella, ham sandwiches, salads. >> did you eat all that, handed out to friends? >> i cannot carry at all, let alone eat it. i took home what i could fit in my bike bags. i shared it with my flat may. >> what leads to this idea there is so much waste? i think people would be horrified to know how much is left lying around. >> exactly, and you have the food, can you imagine having a sack of food like that in the street where people are actually hungry? here, is everywhere. it is absolutely fantastic, but the business model to create that amount of waste. it is completely fresh, made that day. but what they want to give you when you walk in, even if you are the last customer of the day, the shelves are full and everything is fresh. >> there is this idea that waste is built in. in america, 40% of all food is waste. there is a similar figure in britain. one of the main things is we actually don't know how to deal with our relationship with food. we think that it should be cheap all the time. we think we are entitled to it. >> we have lived through many decades of very cheap food, where we have had food mountains. 20 years ago, we had mountains of grain, lakes of milk, likes of wine, but that has changed. the world is changing quickly. the demand for food is going up. and as the film presented, the challenge s of growing food have increased. of course we have to reduce waste but we also have to increase productivity. talking about making genetic modification that would allow courts to be grown with much less water and much less success ability to drop. >> the genetic modification consult a number of problems that we face. some of those problems, we have the genome already, but drought, fertilizer use, pests and pathogens, these are all things many people are working on to try to solve with genetic modification. >> is there a risk that we will lose some of the inherent quality of the food that we have at the moment with all of this? >> most of the target crops for genetic modification of the commodity crops. maize, wheat, cotton, soybeans. those are not the crops that you worry about having the old artists and variety. when you talk about food quality, more generally talking about pomegranates, etc.. that is such a small market, generally, we will not see genetic modification there. >> but high fructose corn syrup is a terrible food stock. it is so on healthy. -- it is so unhealthy. the because it is cheap. it is cheap because it is subsidized. >> is there a problem that we expect food on demand. that is one thing we take for granted. we expect asparagus in peru, strawberries year round. we make unrealistic demands on the market. >> but we are so disproportionately rich that we make those demands. the upshot is we are taking this out of the market and preventing people who are actually hungry and cannot afford to eat properly from being able to afford it. if you are paying someone to grow asparagus where they could be growing something that could feed a lot more people without being a crisis across the world, then you are leading people to be hungrier. >> it means there is an element of reference when it comes to food that we have completely lost. we don't think about what we put in our mouths. we need to be able to enjoy it. we want a good side of food, whether it is an apple or pomegranate. >> you say that we eat too much meat. we also need to change our mind. some people only think they have a great deal of the have a big portion of meat. >> that is true. it is not black and white anymore. people have incorporated more vegetables into their diet. >> thank you all very much. >> that is all for this week. from all of us, good bye. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding for this presentation was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> "bbc newsnight" was presented by kcet, los angeles.